By Chris Wright
on 6.25.12
Photo by EY

A wise man uses his smartphone on vacation for rare occasions only — ok, and maybe some Angry Birds slingin’, too. The National Parks app by National Geographic (free, $1 per park guide) has us reconsidering that though. With its comprehensive and stunningly beautiful design, exploring 20 of America’s most popular parks has never been more visually appealing.

Like National Park guidebook tomes of yore, users will find information on the top must-sees and must-dos for each park. If you’ve got an internet connection in the majestic boonies, you can also access constantly updated information on local time and weather, as well as GPS-powered global and interactive maps tagged with points of interest. Over-sharers will appreciate the Facebook, Twitter and email integration, too. Best of all, the revered travel mag stays true to its roots by including juicy visual extras like photo galleries, vintage photos and how-to tips from professional photographers for capturing the perfect moment.

The app itself is free, with each in-depth park guide costing a buck. But hey, for an app this useful, even the miserly mountain man might be tempted to barter some furs and jerky.

Buy Now: Free, $1 per park guide